Gave price, customer's jaw hit the floor...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by procut, May 23, 2008.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    Ok, here is the situation. About an acre lawn install. Normally I would avoid seeding this time of year, but its what the customer insisted on. Property is covered in weeds, needs to be sprayed and york raked. A few yards of topsoil along the driveway in some low spots, harley rake, and then seed and appy PennMulch. The house is vacant so we would be responsible for watering. I came in at $3,200. Was I out of the ball park? I thought it was resonable considering what was involved, I certainly wouldn't get rich off this job.
  2. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    I think your price is cheap. He should have jumped on that price.
  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Ditto! i was thinking more along $4500-5500
  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    i wouldnt say low but average. note-im new to it all so not really sure. If you have to go there every day to water thats alot o fuel.
  5. greenguy08

    greenguy08 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 99

    You were low for sure. You'll encounter that sometimes- the homeowner that has no idea of what an outstanding deal you're offering him. Don't sweat it. Bid higher next time, too.
  6. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    ok thanks. Thats why I was surprised, like I said, I certianly wouldn't get rich off it, thats why his response through me off. Thanks again!

    BTW: it is close by so returning to water isn't a huge issue.
  7. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Your price was more than fair, probably low. Our area here is not all that different from yours. Around here prep work with a harley rake or rockhound goes 6-8 cents a foot. Hydroseeding or dry seeding goes another 6-8 cents a foot which would have put your job in the 6 grand range.

    Are you sure his jaw really dropped. For example, I quoted a job hydro seeding job which was a bit over 20,000 sq ft at $ 1900 just for the seeding. I could notice the disappointment in the Lady's face when I quoted the price. She just said she would talk to her husband. I really wrote that one off. That was a few weeks ago and I nearly forgot about it.

    She called Friday and said the guy with the rockhound was coming over the weekend and want me to seed it on Tuesday. Going by the reaction I could have sworn I did not get the job and the price was too high. Sometimes they just need some time to reflect on their options and to adjust to the idea that if you want professional work it is not cheap.
  8. akb25

    akb25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Next time, break the bid into multiple parts. Front and side yard for X dollars and the back yard for X dollars.

    Giving people options lets them feel like they have a little more control. Plus the smaller numbers might be easier for them to accept.

    Tell them to insatll the front this spring, see how it looks, and tackle the back in the fall.
  9. kenny s

    kenny s LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    When you quoted $1900.00 for Hydro seeding job for just over 20,000 sq. ft., what and how much preperation did you have to do, if any, and is that included in price? I am new at this and I am very interested in your expertise.
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I understand what you are asking Kenny. That price is just for seeding. Someone else is doing the rockhound work. I only do hydro seeding. I have some other guys I can recommend if they need the prep work done as well and those guys usually recommend me for the seeding.

    There are a lot of factors I take into account when seeding. One is water and I will have to refill about 4 times and she is on a well but says it is a good well. If she was on city water I would have quoted it a bit cheaper. She is close enough that if I have to come back for water I can but her driveway is a bear. When I did the quote I had trouble getting up the drive without pulling a seeder. I will get up it OK but don't want to do that any more than I have to.

    When I first started seeding a long time ago I was a lot cheaper. What I found in time is that if I show up promptly when they ask for a quote and do a good job of selling my services and make sure I use quality materials and do a good job price is not that big a deal. Usually what I hear is they called 4 guys and I was the only one that showed up.

    Back when I felt price was important what I found was the guys who only bought on price were the worst to work for. I found myself seeding on bad soil with lots of rocks and them hounding me all the time because the grass did not grow on the rocks. Guys who want to be cheap skates with the price of seeding do it everywhere else too. There are some home builders I have seeded for that I would never buy a house from.

    I will also add on this particular job that I will use about $ 400-450 in materials. Because of the water I expect the job to take me most of the day. If you have any other questions let me know.

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